LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) — Thousands packed the Vines Center on Friday morning to listen to Florida's governor speak at Liberty University's convocation.
This was Ron DeSantis' first-time visiting the campus. He started his speech, by singing Florida's praises.
"When freedom and our very own way of life in so many other jurisdictions throughout the land withered on the vine, Florida held the line," DeSantis said.
Desantis said his consistent fight for truth and freedom has put Florida on top.
"We are number one in economic freedom. We are number one in education freedom. We are number one for parental involvement in education," he said.
Education was at the center of conversation for DeSantis. Particularly, gender ideology in the classroom.
"It is wrong for a teacher in school to tell second graders that they may have been born in the wrong body or that their gender is a choice," DeSantis said.
He also hit on another hot topic in current gender discussions across the country.
"It is wrong for a swimmer to compete for 3 years on the men's swim team, switch to the women's team, then win the men's national championship. That is a fraud," DeSantis said.
Desantis said Florida makes its mark rejecting "woke ideology," and he will continue his war against the woke.
"We never ever surrender to the woke mob. We have made Florida the place where woke goes to die," DeSantis said.
And Liberty University students are weighing in on Desantis' time at Convocation. The school gave us two students to interview after the event.
Both said this was a special opportunity and that there were a couple of big takeaways from Desantis' message.
"Fighting for liberty. Upholding constitutional integrity," Yale Ford, an LU junior said. "It's very refreshing to come and hear him reinforce that."
"Seeing somebody that's a leader that's implementing their faith in the way that they're leading -- is just truly inspiring," Jesse Hughes, an LU junior said.
They said as students they can continue to fight for truth and lead by example.